Dear readers, tonight with me is a simple woman, living a quiet life – a single mother, a herbalist, and a heathen witch. When she discovered her step-sister disappeared after joining a cult, she went after her – and was not quite prepared for what she found out.
She is here to tell us of her adventures, and all the things she found out becoming an accidental hero.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I grew up in English, a small town south of Indianapolis, near Jasper. It was a quiet place in the Hoosier National Forest, with few people and fewer things to do. We moved there because my father worked in manufacturing and was supervisor for a Toyota plant. Mom worked as an office manager (read: secretary) for various offices in the area. She bounced around from job to job. In retrospect, it may have been because she didn’t want people to know too much about her and the fact that she was more black than the Hispanic she passed for. It was a pretty racist area, so I never did get the full genealogy of her side of the family. She became even more withdrawn after the divorce, but we ended up stuck there. I got used to the racial crap and the evasion game that came with dark features, and I ended up moving back that way after more than a decade in Indianapolis.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I don’t remember having any favourite toys – a second-hand easy bake oven that popped out muffins still raw in the middle, a Glo-Worm doll with a dirty-green body from my carrying it (and leaving it) everywhere, a Game Boy with Tetris that I played until the screen broke, a modest collection of My Little Ponies and Pound Puppies, a View Master with only two cards (Mickey Mouse and the Jetsons)… Mostly, I explored the wooded area behind our house. I would run around for hours with a backpack full of dehydrated soup mix (I would chew on the crunchy veggies), a military surplus canteen of water, and a 4 foot stick sharpened to a rough point to use as a walking stick and a spear, if I ran into any bears. Fortunately, I didn’t see any wildlife more dangerous than a whitetail doe.
What do you do now?
Now, I use my education as a Pagan in Indianapolis and the fertile ground around my modest home to grow plants for use in potions, oils and incenses that I sell online. I also give workshops and presentations, traveling to the Indianapolis and Bloomington areas, as well as Chicago and Louisville.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Well, I certainly have a new perspective on Santa Claus. Haha. But really, I never expected the gods to show up as anything other than energy manifestations or psychic impressions, and yet… So now I know that Valkyrie and demons are both real, and that the worst things that can happen, really do happen sometimes. I also realized that my friends (and me, too, I guess) are much more badass then we ever thought we could be. And fireballs are awesome!
What did you think when you saw the demons?
Well, I was trying to hide the first time I got a clear look at one, so I was mentally chanting an invisibility, or cover, spell. In the back of my head, though, behind the actual thought, was something along the lines of shitshitshitshitshitshitshit! I was really just too busy trying not to die to really process what was going on. I don’t know that there actually are thoughts that can make any sense when you see that kind of thing. Your entire world just… ceases to exist. You stop living in this world and go into another world where things are real when they aren’t supposed to be. It’s jarring and makes you sick to your stomach, and… well, you just go into shock. Numbness, inability to really process or comprehend things. Like, you accept what’s going on even though it’s the most messed up thing ever. But part of you refuses to accept it, so you kinda suspend disbelief, only it’s not a movie, it’s your life. I’m trying to explain something that is pretty much unexplainable, so I hope I made sense.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Most people think it’s the demons, or the battle, or the fireball that nearly killed us… Really, though, the scariest thing was when I just lost it. We were prisoners, locked in a basement room. Clock was ticking, everyone was stressed and pissed. I made a call and no one liked it. The others got mad at me and I just lost it. I’m a thinker, a problem solver. I am happiest when I know what to do and how to deal with things, even if it’s hard. At that point, I had no clue and I was just terrified I’d made a mistake, and everyone else seemed to think I had made a mistake. I have to be in control for my life to function, and I lost control. I couldn’t stop hitting things. I eventually passed out, and then Mercy kept looking at me funny. I get the feeling that it meant more to her than she admits, but I guess I have to wait for another time to ask her about it.
What is the worst thing about being magical/psychic?
People think having this extra knowledge is great, but it really isn’t. Knowledge is a burden. Have you ever heard of a Cassandra complex? When you know what is going to happen but no one listens to you? No one believes you? Every damn thing, every damn day. I get all this information about what would make him better, what would bring her the most happiness in life. You think they are going to listen to the woman who walks up and tells them to quit their jobs because the thing they need to do is bake cookies? Or that they need to break up with their significant other because someone better is waiting for them, but I can’t tell them who it is because that would make things happen in the wrong order and mess it up? Ha! People want the Lotto numbers for this week, not to be told that they should work on their communication skills because, in their job, they are going to repeat the mistakes of their past life as a farmer-turned-messenger during the Siege of Calais. That’s crazy talk! Even when I know it’s true, it sounds like a load of crap.
What is the best thing about it?
Knowing the Lotto numbers, of course. I’m kidding. Really, it’s the fact that I could never have become the person I am without it. I am, for lack of a better term, a sage, a wisdom, an oracle. Now, I’m going to spend a week working through the emotions of declaring that, ‘cause it sounds so flippin’ arrogant.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Well, there’s Joseph. He’s just plain good people. He has this way of keeping things in perspective, of not pissing people off. I’m kinda jealous of that. I’m really good at pissing people off. Joseph is like… bedrock. He’s always there, always dependable. I think I would know that the end of the world is actually here because that would be the only time he’d flip his lid.
Hound Dog is awesome. That guy has more heart than anyone else EVER. He would give you anything at all, so long as it won’t hurt his kids. That’d be the homeless teens down by the Bridge. He would fight a thousand battles for those kids, and he wouldn’t even think it was a thing. If I ever need to get back in touch with empathy, I’d visit him first. If he can’t care about it, it can’t be cared about.
Mercy is… well, she’s a Valkyrie. I’m still a little blown away by that. She’s a damn warrior, and I’ve seen her fight. It’s not just a show. She’s got better moves than the Avengers, so suck it, Thor. I better not say that – he might actually be listening this time. Anyways, she’s the kind of person that I know I can trust, 100%. If she’s at my back, she’s got my back. Period. I don’t have to worry about it. She kept me safe, physically, in situations that… well, I should have died. But she didn’t let them get me or Joseph. I hope I can live up to her expectations of me.
I’m not sure I can call Detective Ames a friend. He’s certainly an ally, though. I mean, sure, he spent most of the time trying to bust me for anything he could, but that was just because he was convinced I was killing people. It made sense at the time. Anyways. I’m not sure why, but I’m positive that he’s about as far from a dirty cop as you can get and still be a cop. That didn’t sound as complimentary as I’d intended… Well, I trust him to keep our secrets, so there’s that.
Any romantic involvement?
Pardon me while I spit my wine across the room… Ha! Did I mention I’m a single parent? Living in southern Indiana? If there was a wishing well, and in that wishing well lived Pinocchio’s blue fairy, and that fairy shot a star out her… wand, and I wished on that shooting star… well, I doubt even that would bring me the right partner for me. I’m super picky, these days. I need someone who loves me, loves the ground I walk on, loves my daughter, and will rearrange his life to fit our plans. I mean, the thing is, I’m content with my life, and romance is messy and complicated and not likely at this point. Well, I do miss sex, so maybe a one-night stand could be do-able.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
The demons sucked. I mean, they killed Keith and attacked me and my friends and made me blow up the granary… Uh, forget I said that last part. The demons sucked, but they’re demons. They are supposed to suck. You know who pisses me off? Bob! Not-so-frickin’-good-ol’ Bob. That little, backstabbing son-of-a-weasel can suffer in the hell of his own choices, as far as I’m concerned. Asshole shot me! After he betrayed Keith. After he frickin’ kidnapped me! After the bastard threatened to torture my friends! I just wish I knew for sure that the piece of crap was actually dead.
What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?
Drink? Toss up between Honeybush tea and Mike’s Hard Blueberry. Oooh, or chocolate wine. Or blackberry lemonade… Do I have to pick? Okay, colour. Ummm, I like gray, and gold. And that kind of bluish silver colour of the Bifrost. That’s really a nice colour. And chocolate brown. Um, relaxing pastime? That’s easy. Reading historical romances in bed with string cheese and dark chocolate squares for snacks. Wow, that was more specific than I’d intended.
What does the future hold for you?
Well, I guess at some point, I’m going to have to go after the other Runespells. I’m kind of at a loss as to where they might be, so it’s a matter of waiting for… I guess, a sign. In the mean time, I’m getting Ella ready to go to Kindergarten. She starts this year and she’s SO excited to learn to read. She wants to read me bedtime stories, since I’ve always read to her.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
I am terrified of traumatizing Ella. I know that there’s a chance I could die getting these Runespells back, and that’s part of the deal. But I would give anything to keep my baby girl from being affected by my quest. If I could, I would figure out a way to keep her from ever having any negative blow-back from this stuff. I just don’t know how to do that. I have nightmares about it. I just hope that she never has to deal with any of this; that she never gets involved with this god-war, end-of-the-world crap…
Sarah is an AuthorGoddess, one who embraces the divine honor of creating worlds with words in the hope of inspiring others. Sarah has been writing for more than 20 years. She lives in the middle of nowhere with two monsters (the kids), an ogre (the hubby), and whatever drama-llama is coming to visit this week. Sarah is the author of Too Wyrd and the Life 101 series. She has short stories and essays in emagazines, The Witches’ Hour and Dreams Eternal, and several anthologies, including Visions IV: Between the Stars, and The Pop Culture Grimoire: 2.0.
You can find Nicola on the pages of the recently release Too Wyrd.
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